RJ reynolds found liable for the death of a longtime smoker from cancer
RJ Reynolds Must Pay $4 Million in Smoking-Related Cancer Case
August 2, 2017
A jury in Florida has found that tobacco giant RJ Reynolds is chiefly liable for the death from cancer of a longtime smoker, and has ordered the company to pay $4 million in damages.
Bertie Thomas had filed the suit on behalf of the estate of her late husband Marvin, who died of mouth and throat cancer in 1992. The jury found that RJ Reynolds had actively concealed the dangers of smoking, and was therefore responsible for Thomas’s addiction to nicotine and death.
The jury found that Marvin Thomas himself was 45 percent responsible for his addiction and death, and that RJ Reynolds was 55 percent responsible.
Bertie Thomas had sought $8 million in damages, unspecified punitive damages, and a finding that RJ Reynolds was 90 percent responsible for the death of her husband.
The case was filed in 2007, among thousands of other such claims that resulted from the landmark Engle class action suit against “Big Tobacco.” Though the Florida Supreme Court decertified that class in 2016 and overturned a $145 billion verdict, it permitted up to 700,000 people who could have won judgment to file their own lawsuits.
Reynolds has not issued a formal response to the verdict.
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